Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Education for all
I work on weekly basis with one of my children clients at home. We work on all kinds of aims to holistically improve her level of skills and strengthen her personality. We also work on the family and how their behavior and expectation influences her learning. So far I think we have made some good progress with that and she just flourishes in her development and we all noticed that already she is like a different child, more active and in control of her life.
Her sister is a music teacher and started lately to give singing lessons to a girl that attends their church. Her family is good friends with my client’s family and lately the mother, sister and father have decided to stick around and observe us working.
In all honesty, at the beginning this was not an ideally work situation as my MsLiz(for the purpose of writing this blog , I will call her that) got easier distracted didn’t get motivated by their presence and worse shut down completely. We, as conductors, have been taught to use spontaneous situations to our advantage and what kind of a conductor would I be trying to let this opportunity pass without teaching someone something???
We have been working on increasing her motivation to move//walk and with and without equipment. We choose purposefully activities and toys, we knew would motivate her to move. Especially in the beginning we could observe an obvious desire to play with those toys, however there was no active participation to get to those toys. She was very much used to the fact, that if she didn’t do something for long enough, someone else will. We have been working on changing her attitude for a while and even let her miss out on activities, while reinforcing that she needs to TRY moving before she could receive some help. This expectation was build onto the observation, that she can walk, initiate to roll, crawl, etc. when highly motivated. We achieved pretty quickly her initiation to roll or crawl but not necessary to walk.
When the other family turned up the first time we were pretty much working on getting her to initiate stepping. Needless to say she didn’t do anything, except of saying no. The other family looked like they didn’t believe that MsLiz could do the things we expected her to do. In fact, she was all slumped together and refused to do anything and with that confirming what the other family thought already. We finished up the activity which took a lot of time and with only little initiation. I explained that this is quite common for children to not do what other people want from that. The other family agreed (as they have the same problem with their girls)but obviously did not believe that this really applied to MsLiz. After a while the little girl of the visiting family showed MsLiz her bracelets and her mom suggested that my girlie can showed hers. It was like a switch was flicked and my MsLiz loudly agreed that she wants to show her. Her mother went upstairs to crab it and I tried to explain to the other family that we try to increase the motivation of MsLiz to move and that past negative experience of trying to move but failing, stops her from trying.
When MsLizs mother returned I caught her eye and indicated to put jewelry box on the table a couple of meters away. All I was asking her if she wanted to show her the jewelry and of my little MsLiz run. This was priceless and the expression on the other family’s faces confirmed that.
Last week the other family returned and it was interesting to see them changed already; waiting for my MsLiz for doing some movements and pointing to each other out what she can do. That day my MsLiz was running all over the house to chase the little girl and even up and down the stairs. We were planning on practicing open and closing her hands and doing some preparation tasks for that. But I decided to change the plan and just play a game with the little girl, which also worked on that. And MsLiz did awesome. And more the little girl learned to give my MsLiz a bit more time. The other family was watching carefully and now started to see the girl my MsLiz can be, funny, active, joyful, loud and excited. Everyone still has to learn a lot from each other but I think at least they started to think that there was something to learn about.